Penzance Mayor, Nicole Broadhurst has a message for us all on this special day.
So, here I am in my unusually tidy sitting room.
Today we were all hoping to be celebrating the 75th Anniversary of VE day – with garden parties and street parties and BBQ’s and bunting and with our friends and families.
We can all still take a moment to remember all those who worked tirelessly to defeat an enemy in WWII.
We can still have a party, albeit a smaller one, in our own homes and gardens.
We can all still raise a glass and say ‘we will remember them’.
This day must bring back memories for many people. And I hope that when you do whatever you have chosen to do you will take a moment to remember with pride and with gratitude not only those who fought all those years ago but also those who are fighting now.
And take a moment to remember not just those who worked tirelessly to keep everything going then but also those who work tirelessly to keep everything going now.
We find ourselves right in the middle of another battle. And we are, again witnessing the marvellous ways in which our community comes together to fight that battle.
Covid-19 has seen us all called upon to make changes, sacrifices and difficult choices. And I am so very very proud of how our community has responded to this unprecedented challenge.
I am pretty sure that lots of us are getting tired of the restrictions on our movements.
So, I am asking you all to stay at home until we have been given clear guidance on how we can resume some sort of normality.
With the spring advancing and the evenings getting lighter it will get more and more difficult to respect the lockdown rules with every day that passes. And it’s even harder when we have a day such as this, when we want to celebrate VE Day, with our friends and families, when we want to raise a glass down the pub.
In WWII they made much bigger sacrifices and the end result was victory. A victory hard won but won none the less.
For us to achieve a victory over C19 it is necessary and it is vital that we don’t relax our vigilance prematurely – coronavirus hasn’t gone away – this can be seen from the daily figures and if we do stop prematurely then we will see the virus start to spread out of control very quickly.
That is why it is so very important that we stick with this.
People refer to our NHS as the front line.
This is a phrase we use in times of war and, make no mistake, this is a war so I totally get the use of war terminology.
However the wonderful staff in our NHS are not the front line in this battle – they are our last line of defence and we must, all of us, work hard to make sure that the battle doesn’t get that far.
We can, all of us, play our part and we MUST all play our part.
The front line of this epidemic is us – the community. We must rise to the challenge of keeping us all safe.
We all have to stand guard.
Us as a community staying at home is the front line.
It’s the bus drivers and posties and police officers and bin men and council workers and PCSOs making sure our society doesn’t collapse into anarchy who are the front line. It’s all those working so very hard in shops so we can keep ourselves and our families fed who are the front line. It’s the volunteers who are doing some shopping or picking up prescriptions or just phoning to make sure everything is ok who are the front line.
But we must not forget that we, as a community, are the front line and it’s up to us all to make sure that our heroic last line of defence, our NHS, is not overwhelmed.
On VE Day 75 years ago the prime minister Winston Churchill said in his speech ‘We may allow ourselves a brief period of rejoicing; but let us not forget for a moment the toil and efforts that lie ahead.’.
So, please, enjoy whatever you are choosing to do to commemorate VE Day but don’t forget, we have a battle here and now which we still have to fight. And fight we will, and we will win.